Gardening in February

Gardening hints and tips from the local experts at Starke Ayres.

• Grow your own Moringa oleifera tree (Miracle Tree). Moringa Oliefera is a tree native to the Southern foothills of the Himalayas that has been widely cultivated and used in tropical and subtropical areas around the globe. Moringa is often referred to as the ‘miracle tree’ for its wide range of medicinal uses. Moringa trees are resilient, fast-growing, nitrogen-fixing trees that quickly produce a large quantity of nutrient-packed leaves during the growing season.

• NOW AVAILABLE – Known as a ‘living fossil’, the Ginkgo biloba is one of the world’s oldest living tree species. It was around 350 million years ago! The word ginkgo comes from the Chinese ‘gin kyo’ meaning ‘silver apricot’. Ginkgo’s are grown as hedges in China to supply the leaves for western herbal medicine. The leaves contain ginkgolides, which are used to improve blood circulation to the brain and to relieve Alzheimer’s, tinnitus and Reynaud’s Syndrome. It is usually Europe’s number one selling herbal medication.

• Protect fruiting crops from caterpillars by spraying insecticides in the early evening when the caterpillars start feeding. Use Kombat Cypermethrin, Cyper or Margaret Roberts Biological Caterpillar Insecticide.

• Flies driving you insane? Get rid of flies before they become a problem; limit their ability to breed and feed by removing potential food sources like leftover food and soft fruits, as well as any stagnant water, which is prone to be their breeding ground. Control Fly infestations with Kombat Flies, a spray mixture that is colourless and odourless and can be used indoors or outdoors, in and around homes, factories, hotels, shops, food handling and processing establishments, hospitals, schools, dairy parlours, piggeries, stables, dog kennels, refuse dumps and similar places where high levels of hygiene are required. (Buy a Kombat Flies and get a FREE Spray Bottle.)

• Feed nutrient-deficient lemon trees (yellowing of the leaf) with Magnesium Sulphate and Trelmix. Lemon trees should be fed quarterly with a slow-release organic fertiliser high in Nitrogen such as Talborne 6:3:4. Bumps on leaves can be due to Citrus Psylla (a type of aphid) and can be treated with Cyper or SK ECO Oil from Makhro Home and Garden.

• Control Red Spidermite. Red Spider breeds in drought-like conditions when the sap flow is sluggish and more concentrated. The mites suck the sap out of leaves, which fall off and expose the stems to the direct sun. Treat plants with Seizer from Makhro Home and Garden or Redspidercide from Efekto.

• Continue to feed summer vegetables still producing good crops. Scatter either Talborne 6:3:4 or Starke Ayres 3:1:5 along the rows or apply a liquid fertiliser such as Sea Secret, Gorganic or Guanoflo. (buy a 5 kg Starke Ayres 3:1:5 @R 99.95 and get a 4 kg Natragro FREE)

• Now back in stock is Murraya koenigii. Commonly known as the Curry Leaf tree. It is quite ornamental and can be grown in a pot and does not need re-potting very often. It must be fertilized weekly during the growing season, kept watered during summer and watered sparingly in winter. They do not thrive in the wind and prefer a nice protected sun to semi shaded area.

Starke Ayres, West Coast Village

Tel: 021 554 8450